The criminal procedure code (Crpc) introduced for the execution of provisions and give punishment for the acts provided under criminal laws and in IPC.This code basically provides provisions against the accused,(Accused is person who was suspected on the criminal case).The procedure laid down in this code were like :-different types of offences, punishment for the offences, procedure of bail, procedure for arrest the offender etc.
Offence is defined as any act which is forbidden by law and punishable in the eye of law for which the complain is lodged before the police or the magistrate. Offences were broadly classified on the basis of the seriousness of the offence and on the basis of punishment.
So ,on the basis of seriousness offences were divided into two categories:-
● Cognizable offences
● Non- cognizable offences
The word cognizance means to have ' knowledge ' when we say about cognizance of an offence that means knowledge of the offence.These cognizance offence were decided on the basis of their seriousness and seriousness of the offence was depend on the punishment prescribed for the illegal act . If the offence provide punishment for more than three year that offence comes under the serious offence and called as an cognizable offence.
In the case of Ajit Kumar palit Vs State of West Bengal the word cognizable has been interpreted by the court. As the word has not been defined under criminal procedure code,1973. The court explain the word cognizable as 'become aware of'.
In section 2(c) of Crpc,1973 defines cognizable offence as “any offence for which police officer perform a lawful arrest without warrant”. These offences do not require the arrest warrant from the court before arrest of an accused. These offences needs a instant arrest of the accused because of the seriousness in the offence. Cognizable offence includes rape, murder, dowery death, sedition etc. The essential element of cognizable offence is to register an First information report and police officer cannot refuse to register the FIR under sec 154 of Crpc 1973.
As the person can be arrest without warrant it questions the person 's privacy under Article 21 as in criminal law gives more power to police officers. In the case of Puttaswamy Vs Union Of India (2017) Court held that though all powers were given to police there should be need of some reasonable power over the police to not violate the individual privacy.
These are the offences which needs the warrant for the arrest of the accused from the court. Although these are not the serious offences but comes under criminal law and in IPC.
In section 2 (I) of Crpc ,1973 defines as “The offences in which police officer without warrant cannot arrest the accused”.
In these offences where police officer needs a prior permission from court to register an FIR under sec 155 of Crpc,1973.offence comes under non cognizable offence are:- forgery, cheating, fraud, theft etc.
The malimath committee in 2003 says that many serious offences like public servants , disobeying the law to cause injury to any person, bribery during election , buying or disposing of any person as a salve were not comes under non cognizable offence.
Difference between cognizable and non- cognizable offence:-
● The cognizable offence don’t need arrest warrant to arrest the accused but non- cognizable offence need warrant from magistrate before arrest of accused.
● Serious and heinous offence come under cognizable offence but in non – cognizable offence not more serious offence come but they were under IPC and many criminal laws.
● FIR must be registered before the police officer in cognizable offence but in non cognizable offence FIR will be registered after the permission of magistrate.
[e] 1963 AIR 765